WASHINGTON (Rooters agency) – In recent weeks, insiders report, the State Department has been “absolutely swamped” by submissions from officials of foreign governments setting out the reasons they believe they should be banned from receiving US visas.
“I am not involved in my Government’s Hong Kong policy,” reads a fairly typical submission, “but I am definitely in favor of cracking down on HK’s autonomy and democratic rights. I advocate this even when I’m not asked.”
“I keep a list of countries sanctioned by America on my desk, even though it takes up most of my work space,” reads another. “Whenever we need to purchase something for my office, I tell my people to buy from countries on the list. I tell my wife the same thing about shopping for our home.”
“If I were in the United States for any reason,” wrote another, a middle-ranking official of an important European ally of the US, “I would definitely spend nearly all my time buying oil and other useful things to send to North Korea.”
The State Department insiders say that these and “scores or hundreds” of similar submissions have been received more or less in time with the world-leading increase in the number of new Covid-19 cases in the United States.
“You can understand it easily,” said one of the insiders. “Ordinary citizens of other countries can make the sensible decision to protect their lives by not coming here. But government officials can be ordered by their superiors to come to the US for this or that diplomatic task. It’s often seen as not much different from a death sentence – and who can blame them for thinking that?
“In a number of countries, it’s thought that US assignments are being inflicted on rising politicians whose ambitions are considered a threat to their immediate superiors.”